The movies of the Danish film director Karl von Trier's often go deep into the human psyche, have deep psychological human themes, and due to the excellent film work, scripts, music and acting his movies are part of the best Art House cinema of the Western world. Von Trier is heavily influenced by the work of Carl Theodor Dreyer and the film The Night Porter. He was so inspired by the short film The Perfect Human, directed by Jørgen Leth, that he challenged Leth to redo the short five times in the feature film The Five Obstructions.
The Night Porter (Italian: Il portiere di notte) is a 1974 Italian erotic psychological drama film. Directed and co-written by Liliana Cavani, the film stars Dirk Bogarde and Charlotte Rampling, and features Philippe Leroy and Gabriele Ferzetti. Its themes of sexual and sadomasochistic obsession have made the film controversial since its initial release, dividing critics over its artistic value.
The Night Porter is widely considered to be a Nazisploitation film and a cult classic. In July 2018, it was selected to be screened in the Venice Classics section at the 75th Venice International Film Festival.
Nazi exploitation (also Nazisploitation) is a subgenre of exploitation film and sexploitation film that involves Nazis committing sex crimes, often as camp or prison overseers during World War II. Most follow the women in prison formula, only relocated to a concentration camp, extermination camp, or Nazi brothel, and with an added emphasis on sadism, gore, and degradation.
Lars von Trier, original name Lars Trier, (born April 30, 1956, Copenhagen, Denmark), and cofounder of the Dogme 95 movement, whose films were known for their bleak worldview and controversial subject matter. Von Trier attended the National Film School of Denmark, graduating in 1983. He was born Lars Trier, but while in school he added the prefix von—traditionally an indicator of membership in the aristocracy—to his surname in an attempt to be provocative.
Von Trier began his career with the crime film Forbrydelsens element (1984; The Element of Crime), the first in an eventual series known as the Europa trilogy, which stylishly explores chaos and alienation in modern Europe. The other films in the trilogy are Epidemic (1987), a metafictional allegory about a plague, and Europa (1991; released in the U.S. as Zentropa), an examination of life in post-World War II Germany. In 1994 von Trier wrote and directed a Danish television miniseries called Riget (The Kingdom), which was set in a hospital and focused on the supernatural and macabre. It proved so popular that it was followed by a sequel, Riget II (1997), and later inspired an American version, adapted by American horror novelist Stephen King, for which von Trier served as executive producer.
In 1995 von Trier and Danish director Thomas Vinterberg wrote a manifesto for a purist film movement called Dogme 95. Participating directors took what the group dubbed the Vow of Chastity, which bound them to a list of tenets that, among other things, forbade the use of any props or effects not natural to the film’s setting in order to achieve a straightforward form of narrative-based realism. Von Trier’s next film was Breaking the Waves (1996), a grim tale about a pious Scottish woman subjected to brutality that was anchored by a bravura Oscar-nominated performance by Emily Watson. It embodies much of the spirit of Dogme 95, though it was not technically certified as such. In the end, the only official Dogme 95 film that von Trier directed was Idioterne (1998; The Idiots), a highly controversial work that centres on a group of people who publicly pretend to be developmentally disabled.
In 2000 von Trier released Dancer in the Dark, a melodrama that features Icelandic pop singer Björk as a nearly blind factory worker who finds relief from her constant travails in fantasy-fueled musical numbers. Von Trier attracted further attention for Dogville (2003), a cynical and dramatically austere parable about the United States, starring Nicole Kidman. Though it was criticized for its lack of subtlety and for its gender politics, the film was followed two years later by a sequel, Manderlay. Later films included Antichrist (2009), which agitated audiences with its graphic depiction of sexual violence within a grieving couple’s relationship, and the haunting Melancholia (2011), in which a chaotic wedding and attendant familial discord are set against a planet’s impending collision with Earth. His next film, Nymphomaniac, was released in two volumes (2013). It chronicled the carnal activities of a single woman—played by several actresses at different ages—from her first experiences to her later assignations. The film was highly controversial because of its depiction of unsimulated sex acts. He next directed The House That Jack Built (2018), a deliberately provocative film that follows a serial killer through a succession of murders.
The Kingdom (Danish title: Riget) is an eight-episode Danish television mini-series, created by Lars von Trier in 1994, and co-directed by Lars von Trier and Morten Arnfred. It has been edited together into a five-hour film for distribution in the United Kingdom and United States.
The series is set in the neurosurgical ward of Copenhagen's Rigshospitalet, the city and country's main hospital, nicknamed "Riget". "Riget" means "the realm" or "the kingdom", and leads one to think of "dødsriget", the realm of the dead. The show follows a number of characters, both staff and patients, as they encounter bizarre phenomena, both human and supernatural. The show is notable for its wry humor, its muted sepia colour scheme, and the appearance of a chorus of dishwashers with Down syndrome who discuss in intimate detail the strange occurrences in the hospital.
The first quartet of episodes ended with numerous questions unanswered, and in 1997, the cast reassembled to produce another group of four episodes, Riget II (The Kingdom II).
This second series ended with even more questions unanswered than the first, and a third series was planned. Von Trier wrote the third and final season, but the production was not picked up by DR. At that point, five regular cast members had died and it seemed impossible to continue the series. The abandoned scripts were sent to the producers of Stephen King's Kingdom Hospital, but it is unclear whether they used the scripts or not.
In December 2020, DR announced the third and final season of Riget would begin filming in 2021 under the title Riget Exodus. The season will consist of five episodes directed by von Trier. It will be written by von Trier with Niels Vørsel.
Despite being a mini-series, The Kingdom appears as one of the 1001 Movies You Must See Before You Die.
Von Trier has credited Twin Peaks and the 1965 French miniseries Belphegor as inspirations.
This last movie trailer "the house that Jack built" look a bit too bloody, like American thrillers. The other ones are interesting. We need to start watching more european movies. Thanks for the reminder